Auditioned for a Neil Simon play last night

Last night, before getting pictures for work, I headed to the Clio Cast and Crew to audition for a part in an upcoming Neil Simon play.

This was the first time in a long time I’d auditioned for something. Years ago when trying to get into radio I made a mock news recording on cassette tape. Then, in 2004 when screening calls at San Antonio’s News Talk 550 KTSA, the news director told me there was an opening in the weekend anchor position and asked me if I wanted to do a news recording so they could see how I’d sound on the air. Thankfully, I passed that with flying colors. (For some reason, reading live news has always been easier for me than having to record and edit. Maybe it’s because you force yourself to get it right the first time, realizing there is no Take Two). 

So, I auditioned and read for the part.

We had a few pages of dialogue, and as we did it, I found myself wishing I’d seen the movie first and had read the script in its entirety. But as I read, I got an idea of the voice inflections to use. Once or twice the script called for me to look at my watch, and I did that. And then a few times when the character makes a surprised proclamation, my eyes widened as if I were indeed incredulous.

When we finished, Jody (the lady I read with) told me my voice sounded good and loud. Friday I’ll find out if I got the part.

Yes, I would love to get this part as performing on stage is a secret passion of mine, but the main reason I auditioned was to get my feet wet in the acting process. If I don’t get the part, I’ll find out what else, as a theater member, I can do for the play.

It’s possible that if I get the part I may have to use a few words I normally do not use, but one thing I remind myself are two things actors have told me: Adam Vernier described acting as being a “faker”; you are playing a role, nothing else. Adam also told me once that if fame (or, for that matter, fortune) are your motiviations for getting into acting, don’t bother. You have to REALLY love doing it. The late David Hess once said acting is just that–acting. It’s not the real world.

Someday I’d also love to do voice-overs and perhaps even serve as a public address announcer. Back in 2004, I was one of several live auctioneers for Blazing Gavels, a fund-raising event for San Antonio’s PBS affiliate KLRN. I had the time of my life.

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer. He envisions himself as someday having the lead role in a movie titled The Man Who Loved Ducks. Post comments here or e-mail them to

Writing prompts from Writer’s Digest

This one deals with a dead relative meeting you and giving you an old document with shocking information in it.

I don’t see myself posting my results unless they turn out to be great: this is more a writing exercise than something to submit for publication. A professional actor, Adam Vernier, once told me that he practices acting every day, whether filming or not, to stay in practice. The same rings true for writing.

The first attempt at the prompt was about a man angry at being passed over for a job for a Jewish co-worker who’d been there less time. His anger evolves into a minor anti-Semitic rant. The man then encounters his great-great-grandfather and learns the family name Conway had been changed from Cohen around 1880 when his German-Jewish great-great-grandfather moved to America to escape anti-Semitism.

That hasn’t been done before, eh? A man who dislikes Jews finds out he has Jewish ancestry. If you think that’s a new idea, check out the Russian film Luna Park (relax, it has subtitles). I didn’t finish this, because it started to seem a little trite in the story line and I found myself wanting to explore elsewhere.

I did end up with another story, this one more autobigraphical and revolving around an older sister of mine, Kim, who died in infancy in 1965. I wasn’t born until 1973, so obviously I never met her. Perhaps I’ll publish it sometime as a tribute to her.